The Kobukson, also known as the turtle ship was a large Korean warship that was used by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon dynasty, 15th century and 18th century. The Kobukson was used in the fight against the invading Japanese and is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The name “turtle ship” derives from its protective shell-like covering and is often recognised as the first armoured battleship in the world.
Turtle ships were equipped with at least five different types of cannons. Their most distinguishable feature was a fierce fire breathing dragon-shaped head at the front of the ship that could launch cannon fire or flames from the mouth. Each ship had a shell-like covered deck to protect against arrow fire, musket shots, incendiary weapons. The covered deck also had iron spikes to prevent the enemy from attempting to board the ship.
Below is a fantastic video all about The Kobukson and is well worth a watch.